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New use of antipsychotic drugs in elderly people with dementia may increase the mortality risk

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Sudeep S Gill

Correspondence to: Sudeep S Gill, MD, MSc, St Mary's of the Lake Hospital, 340 Union Street, Kingston, Ontario K7L 5A2, Canada



Does new use of antipsychotics in elderly people with dementia increase the risk of all-cause mortality?


27 259 adults aged ⩾66 years with dementia who had not taken antipsychotics in the year before study entry. Exclusions: psychotic disorders (other than behavioural or psychological symptoms of dementia) or need for palliative care; those with baseline antipsychotic use.


Ontario residents aged 66 years and over with diagnosis of dementia (received between April 1997 and March 2002) identified through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan or Discharge Abstract Database.

Risk factors:

New use of atypical or conventional antipsychotic drug use (identified through Ontario Drug Benefit programme). Atypical antipsychotic users were separately matched to non-users and to conventional antipsychotic users. Separate analyses were conducted for community dwelling and non-community …

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  • Notes: Only all-cause mortality was assessed. Analyses could not adjust for unmeasured confounders. Analyses did not consider the specific antipsychotic drug used.

  • Source of funding: Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

  • ▸ An additional table is published online only at


  • Competing interests: None.

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